A classical think tank lies at the core of the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security (BIGS), in which scholars from various disciplinary and institutional backgrounds work together on socially-relevant questions of civil security. In doing so, they produce analyses and recommendations about threat potentials, avoidance strategies and countermeasures, and the market for security technologies and services. They identify the need for institutional change and develop scenarios as the basis for preparing for eventual attacks and catastrophes.

See below for more information on our main topics of research and check-out our current projects as well as our publications.

Economics of Security

The economics of security examines the provision of scarce goods and services that contribute to the state of security in a particular place. Security is defined as a function of Threat and Protection, with Security decreasing in the former and increasing in the latter.* This broad definition** encompasses activities by economic agents at various degrees of aggregation, from the individual to the state. At BIGS, we deal with decisions made by groups, ranging from groups of individuals, to private companies, to government institutions. We also deal with overarching questions of regulation and market balances.

* Cf. Bretschneider, W., Freytag, A., Rieckmann, J. P., & Stuchtey, T. H. (2020). Sicherheitsverantwortung zwischen Staat und Markt – eine institutionenökonomische Analyse. ORDO, 70(1), S.96.
** Cf. for the broader and narrower definitions also: Brück, T., Karaisl, M., & Schneider, F. (2008). A Survey of the Economics of Security (No. 1). Economics of Security Working Paper. p. 8.

Latest Research Projects


The cash cycle must remain functional in the event of a crisis. BASIC develops a new security framework concept for this purpose. Together with relevant players such as the Deutsche Bundesbank, commercial banks, retailers and cash-in-transit companies, BIGS elaborates how the cycle can be maintained in the event of a breakdown in electronic communications and under difficult conditions.

Creation of Security Analyses in Saxon Municipalities

In this project, which is funded by the Saxon State Ministry of the
Interior, the BIGS is working together with the Neue Köhler Management
Gesellschaft and the IABG to create and conduct citizen surveys. The aim
of the project is to analyse the security situation in the Free State
of Saxony and, in particular, to record the perception of security of
the population living there.  


FERMI will facilitate European Police Authorities to detect and monitor the way that Disinformation and Fake News spread, both in terms of locations and within different segments of the society, and to put in place relevant security countermeasures. It will also produce and disseminate tailor-made training material designed for European Police Authorities, security professionals and stakeholders, as well as for EU citizens. BIGS will work primarily on a methodology to make the costs associated with disinformation and extremism more transparent and predictable.

Cyber Security

BIGS is particularly dedicated to the economic and social dimensions within the research field of cyber security. Although cooperation between government, business and science regarding cyber security is improving on the national as well as international level, there is still urgent need for action. This is where BIGS comes into play and uses its organizational and research capacities to tackle various aspects of cyber security from a cross-disciplinary perspective.

These are, firstly, the social and structural changes that result from advancements in information and communication technology. Secondly, questions about constraints put upon various institutions, organizations and actors of cyber security are examined in the interdisciplinary setting of the Brandenburg Institute for Society and Security. Aside from issues of internet governance, BIGS also deals with the challenges imposed on the Germany economy by interconnectedness and digitalization. The focus here is on cooperation between business on the one hand and government actors and institutions on the other hand, as well as the safety of highly interconnected industries in the area of critical infrastructures.

Latest Research Projects


Since December 2018 the ITEA-3 Project CyberFactory#1  (CF#1) aims at designing, developing, integrating and demonstrating a set of key enabling capabilities to foster optimization and resilience of the Factories of the Future (FoF). BIGS is the leader of the task Impact Management and is within this task responsible for Community Management as well.

Capacity Building for Civil Security Reseach

BIGS not only participates in research projects itself, but actively strives to improve the research landscape through high-performance consortia. The institute has a large international network of users and research institutes in the field of civil security research. Through the organization of workshops, networking opportunities between actors are promoted and impulses for future cooperation set. The aim is to enable cooperations between experts and users in order to ensure the transition from theory to practice. In the area of project management, the BIGS also takes over the cross-project planning of joint projects.

Latest Research Projects


The increase in weather events such as extreme heat and heavy rain poses new challenges for rescue services, hospitals, fire departments and disaster control in Germany. Through AIRCIS, we want to strengthen the resilience of public services in the area of healthcare and mobility in Lusatia. The project will run for three years and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport as part of the mFund programme.


Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport, RescueFly is concerned with the use of decentrally stationed drones (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) to support water rescue in large and difficult-to-access areas. The focus here is on cross-county and cross-state prevention and rescue using drones in inland waters in the Lausitz region. BIGS is responsible for the project management and for organizing the work with the project partners.